Religious Studies

Article excerpt

Religious Studies

About Religion: Economies of Faith in Virtual Culture, by Mark C. Taylor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999. 300 pp. ISBN 0-226-79162-9 (p).

Mark C. Taylor, an authority on religion in the modern age, investigates the consequences for religious belief of virtuality and other recent cultural trends. He explores "economies of faith," from global financial networks to the casinos of Las Vegas.

Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs: Popular Movements at the Time of Jesus, by Richard A. Horsley. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 1999. 304 pp. ISBN 1-56338-273-3.

This book represents a portrait of Jewish culture in the first century and contains an evaluation of Jesus' relation to this society. The Trinity Press edition includes a new preface by the author.

Caring for Future Generations: Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Perspectives, edited by Emmanuel Agius and Lionel Chircop. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998. 280 pp. ISBN 0-275-96502-3.

Using as a focal point the conceptual framework of an abiding respect for human rights, in particular the rights of future generations, the contributors to this volume demonstrate that the three monotheistic faiths share several basic convictions, such as the need to protect our earth for the benefit of our progeny, the fundamental unity of the human family, and the unity of past, present, and future generations.

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Faith, edited by James H. Charlesworth and Walter P. Weaver. Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1998. 96 pp. ISBN 1-56338-232-6.

Four biblical and Dead Sea Scoll scholars consider questions like Why are the scrolls so significant for a better understanding of Christian origins? How and in what ways do these ancient Jewish scrolls alter or reshape Christian perceptions of Jesus and his followers? How do the scrolls help us understand prophecy and messianic beliefs during the time Jesus taught in Galilee and Judea?

Exegesis as Polemical Discourse: Ibn ...azm on Jewish and Christian Scriptures, by Theodore Pulcini. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1998. 216 pp. $19.95 (p). ISBN 0-7885-0396-0 (c); 0-7885-0395-2 (p).

In the history of relations among Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, the encounter in medieval Spain stands out for its intensity and creativity. A consequence of this interaction was the generation of polemical texts reflecting the competing claims of the three monotheistic faiths. Once such text is the Treatis on Obvious Contradictions and Evident Lies, written by the Muslim scholar Ab. …